May 29, 2009

Fishing Continues to Improve from Boston to Portsmouth

Frank G. Dwyer

Unsettled weather the last few days seems to have thinned the crowds, but the fishing is still quite good from Boston to Portsmouth.

Striped Bass continue to show in more numbers as mackerel make their annual push north. Cod, Haddock and Flounder are also being caught in more numbers on the North Shore.

Marblehead: (3 hooks) Bait fishermen have been doing well around Hovey Park and the Neck. Big chunks of cut mackerel have been working best to attract bigger bass. Surfcasters have found bass off Devereux Beach, especially at dawn and in the early evening hours.

Salem: (3 hooks) Flounder fishing has improved in and around Salem Harbor as some 4-5 pound flatties have been landed recently. Striped Bass have been chasing mackerel just outside the Harbor and anglers using soft plastics and cut bait have done well. Fishing around the islands has also been good and pogies should make their annual appearance soon.

Beverly: (3 hooks) Action is heating up around Obear Park as striped bass continue to make their arrival known. Sea worms and clams have been working for bass of the Pier, while anglers fishing the river near the Kernwood Country Club have also found cooperative bass. Flounder fishing around the harbor has been good.

Cape Ann: (3 hooks) Fishing has improved around the Cape as mackerel have become more active. The Annisquam is still fishing well with striped bass becoming quite active with keepers in the mix. Anglers have found larger bass off Halibut Point, with large chunks or live-lined mackerel. The beaches off Rockport have been yielding striped bass to both fly and spin fishermen. In Essex, the rivers have been fishing well as bass continue to feed on river herring.

Ipswich: (3 hooks) The mouth of the Ipswich continues to fish well for striped bass, as does the Crane Beach area. Bass has been pounding soft plastics on lead heads. Fly fishermen have found fish on sinking lines with small baitfish imitations.

Newbury: (3 hooks) Fishing from the Parker River NWR Lot 1 has been good over the last week. In the early morning hours, top water plugs and metal have been working while bait slingers report decent hook ups in the morning and at dusk, with some keeper sized bass in the mix. Stripers are still chasing herring in the Parker River.

Newburyport / Plum Island: (3 hooks) There are plenty of striped bass to stalk in the Newburyport area; you just need to be in the right place at the right time. Anglers fishing from Rock’s Village to the Route 1 Bridge report decent activity for striped bass on the moving tides. Small flies and sluggos twitched slowly on the bottom have been working well. Joppa continues to produce fish with some keeper fish falling for the tube and worm and chunk bait. My daughter Caitlin and I have been down on the oceanfront and the fishing has been good, mostly in the pre-dawn hours. Plum Island point continues to attract throngs of fishermen. Wednesday had birds working over feeding fish in the middle of the river by the jetties for a solid hour around low tide, so the fish are certainly active. Flounder catches are slowly improving and party boats are starting to pick up decent sized cod and haddock.

Salisbury, MA: (2 hooks) Salisbury State Reservation was packed with RV’s over the Memorial Day weekend and that had the Salisbury side of the river packed with anglers in search of striped bass. Worms, clams and cut bait were mostly in use when I was there and all three seemed to be working just fine.

Seacoast, NH: (2 hooks) Flounder fishing near Rye Harbor has been good over the last week as has been cod and haddock fishing near the Isle of Shoals. Further north, striped bass continue to chase river herring in the Newmarket and Portsmouth vicinity. Mackerel have been reported at the mouth of the Piscataqua, so get the jigs out and start live lining!


Keep Moving:
It sounds silly, but don’t stay put when fishing from shore or boat in one spot for too long. Sure, the fish could swing by the bank you are fishing or near where your boat is drifting, but you have a better chance of hooking up if you leave an unproductive spot in search of better waters.

May 21, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend Heralds in the Saltwater Fishing Season

Frank G. Dwyer
Publication Date: May 22, 2009

With the current heat wave, ocean temperatures will continue to rise and fishing conditions will improve daily.

Striped bass, shad, cod, haddock and even some flounder are available from Boston to the New Hampshire Seacoast, but we are still early in the season.

Marblehead: (2 hooks) Striped Bass are in the area, you just need to find warmer pockets of water and present small plastics on jig heads or tempt your prey with sea worms. Check out the rocks around the Neck or an open stretch of beach. Mackerel have been reported outside Boston Harbor, so fishing is bound to improve as the schools make their way north.

Salem: (2 hooks) Slurping bass have been taking small flies and top water plugs in the Danvers River near Kernwood. Not much around Salem Willows, but some fish have been active in and around the Harbor and off Winter Island.

Beverly: (2 hooks) Kayak fishermen have been finding bass in the early morning off West Beach while anglers dunking bait from the Pier have also found fish. Sluggos and small white flies are working in local rivers. Legal sized flounder have been hard to come by.

Cape Ann: (3 hooks) While some fish have been taken in open waters off the Cape, your best bet is still in the back rivers and estuaries. School Bass have been taken from Magnolia to Essex with fish keying in on small white flies and sluggo type offerings. The Annisquam is always a good early season bet. Offshore boats are seeing better numbers of cod and haddock.

Ipswich: (2 hooks) The mouth of the Ipswich River has been a productive area for fishermen looking for striped bass. Throwing small plugs or trolling swimming lures has been working well. The Castle Neck River and Crane Beach have been good for surfcasters and fly fishermen.

Newbury: (2 hooks) The Parker River has been a good bet for anglers in search of striped bass as small flies, plugs and swimming lures are all enticing fish. Herring are quite thick in the river. Plum Island Sound and the beach of the Refuge are also fishing well for school striped bass.
Newburyport / Plum Island: (2 hooks) The Chain Bridge opening coincided nicely with striped bass arriving around the Port and with that Deer Island has been a popular spot for both bait and artificial fishermen. Shad have been cooperating up by Rocks Village with anglers having success with darts. Further down river, Joppa Flats and the area around Woodman Island has been providing striped bass action, especially in early morning. Fishing the Beachfront has also produced small bass on both metal and buck tail jigs. As usual, the banks of the river at Plum Island Point have been jammed during the good tides. Flounder have been scarce but cod and haddock have become more active around the Northwest corner of Stellwagen.

Salisbury, MA: (2 hooks) Bass have been hitting surface plugs and hopkins/kastmasters off Salisbury Beach in the morning. Anglers fishing the river and jetty from the State Park have found decent bass action with a few keepers in the mix.

Seacoast, NH: (1 hooks) Stripers have been reported as far north as Portsmouth, with many fish up in the smaller rivers chasing alewifes. Fish have also been taken off the Coast Guard station. Anglers report spotty striped bass action in Seabrook, Hampton and Rye. Some flounder have been taken off Rye Beach.


Sharpen Hooks after the Off Season: One of the biggest reasons for missed hits while fishing is dull hook points. Ensure you sharpen those that can be salvaged or replace the ones that can’t to ensure you don’t lose that fish of a lifetime.

May 11, 2009

Fish Finder Back in Newspapers on May 22, 2009

Frank G. Dwyer
May 11, 2009

The Fish Finder will make its return to the Eagle Tribune, Newburyport Daily News, Gloucester Times and Salem News on Friday May 22nd and run each Friday through the Fall.

In the meantime, I've been scouting the North Shore and have a few schoolies already to show for it. Fish are being caught sporadically from Boston to Newburyport and mackeral and pogies are beginning to show up in our waters.

Stay tuned!